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Uplifting Anchors, What to look for - Introduction

Sport Climbing: a little Survival Manual

Part 2 / 6
Some Pitons
Gianluca Di Benedetto


Dowels, expansion bolts, hangers & Co…

In the beginning, there was the piton…in different measures and forms, often homemade!

It was a kind of legendary anchor, from which the mystic topic of searching for "The Piton in the Stone" originates (especially on some alpine routes or because of some too much fuzzy reports).

Then there was the relief offered by the dowel... an unlikely device allowing a more "metallurgical" climbing approach, even with a set of problems.

Gianluca Di Benedetto


Leaving aside, for the moment, the entire series of the "quick protection" gears (mainly used in trad or clean climbing), we can say that the first real technological revolution was the "expansion bolts" named "spit": still now in many countries this term means almost all kinds of anchors!

A sort of small firing pin allowed to obtain (after a lot of hammering and cursing, often in precarious positions, hanging from some kind of unreliable hook) a hole (obviously very short), where to place that primitive gear.


Stainless steel certified bolt
Gianluca Di Benedetto



Thus many alpine routes and the first sport climbing route were born.


But this was a too much strenuous and arduous job, that, fortunately, with technological advances has been streamlined: that's how the modern expansions bolts have arrived.



Part 2 / 6

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